How to limit Chromebook logins to specific users

Learn how to use a simple ChromeOS feature to prevent unwanted users from logging in to your Chromebook.


Image: Jack Wallen

Thanks to more people needing inexpensive laptops for working and studying from home, the Chromebook is gaining even more popularity. With more Chromebooks existing in homes and businesses (as well as being used in various remote locations), you’re going to want to ensure your particular laptop isn’t used by everyone. Why? With many Chromebooks offering limited local storage, you don’t want to allow too many users to log in to that device and risk filling up that internal drive or using your device for not-so-innocent deeds.

What can you do?

The developers have added one little feature which allows you to limit who can log in to your Chromebook. It’s actually quite easy to use and makes it so you control who can add their Google account to your Chromebook. One bonus feature to this option is that you can use it to limit logins to only your account (which is what I use it for). By doing that, you can be sure no one else will be able to log in to your Chromebook with any Google account (except yours, of course). Since, ideally, you’ve not given away your password to anyone, your Chromebook will remain limited to only you and your Google account.

Let me show you how to use this feature.

SEE: Tips for becoming a Chromebook expert (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

What you’ll need

This feature has actually been around for some time, so pretty much any Chromebook you have should offer the option. You do, obviously, have to have a Chromebook and a Google account to log in with. 

How to limit logins on your Chromebook

Because all Chromebook logins are restricted to Google email account usernames, you’ll need to know the email address(es) associated with the Google accounts you want to allow access to your device. Once you have that/those in hand, open your Chromebook and go to the Settings app.

Within the Settings app, click People in the left navigation (Figure A).

Figure A


The People entry in the ChromeOS Settings app.

From within People, go to Manage Other People. In the resulting window, click the On/Off slider for Restrict Sign-In To The Following Users (Figure B).

Figure B


Enabling the user restriction feature in ChromeOS.

If you’d like to use this feature to limit login to only your account, you’re done. If you want to allow access to other accounts, continue.

Once you’ve enabled the feature, you’ll see the Add User link under your username (listed as owner). Click that link and, in the resulting popup, type the email address of the user allowed to log in (Figure C).

Figure C


Giving access to another Google account login for your Chromebook.

You can repeat this process until you’ve added all of the necessary users and close out the Settings app.

At this point, only you and those users you’ve allowed will be able to log in to your Chromebook. Although this might not be a one-stop-shop for Chromebook security, it is an addition you should consider using. Not only will you prevent other users from taking up precious internal storage space, it could stop others from hopping onto your device and using your network connection for nefarious purposes. This is especially important when you’re using your device on the go and you might step away from it for a moment to refresh your coffee.

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